Feeling Lost When You Know The Way.
Have you ever looked around and say, "Where am I?"
You feel lost. And sad. And thoroughly confused.
Your head knows the direction. You have enough experience to know the general outline of the steps you need to be taking. And yet you feel lost...
Is it just in your head?
"This weekend I had an email exchange with a best-selling author who told me that just before she became a mega-star, she felt like she had lost her mojo. She sat looking at the beginnings of a book about outrageous selling performance and wondered if she had the stuff herself."
It's a feeling that you never forget.
So what is this lost feeling? And why does it plague us from time to time? And always at the worst possible times.
If we can understand this emotion, this fear, this indecision, we become more powerful. We are no longer crippled by what we don't know. We win.
Here are three observations:
1. Feeling lost can mean you don't know where you will end up.
You know a lot about the journey, but the destination is unclear. That's OK as long you recognize what's going on.
Your brain wants security. It wants to stop being anxious, fearful, and uncertain. And by the way, you mumbling to yourself about "I don't know if this is going to work" doesn't really help either. Your brain hears you.
Where you will end up comes down to a simple formula. It's actually pretty basic. Here it is:
"What you think about most is what you become..."
Ever meet someone who is "unlucky"? Everything they think about is how they are "unlucky" and that "bad things always happen to them".
They imagine problems and then wearily find them.
Go imagine a beautiful future and obsess about all the details until you find it.
Be a dreamer.
2. Feeling lost means that you need to value each decision you make along the way.
Since you don't know the destination, you need to make sure that you take the time to make each decision count. There are no "do overs". And that's usually cool as long as you are not expecting them to be there. If you wake up and realize that the last 14 decisions you made are horrible, it might be too late to execute on your original plan.
If you haven't made any decisions yet, take the time to write down 2-3 guidelines for any decision that you make. Here are three that I use for any opportunity that is presented to me:
- Has to change the world.... (big scope)
- Have to be surrounded by people smarter than me... (strong team)
- Has to nurture my soul... (deep meaning)
Get your own decision guidelines. Start with 1 or 2 or two dozen. The benefit is in having them and not letting the anxiety of the moment drive you to bad choices that you come to regret later. Make each decision matter.
3. Feeling lost can mean you fear that you might not like the destination when you arrive.
That's a big one. What happens if you get to the end of the road and can't stand where your journey took you?
You might worry about it. But that never happens. It just doesn't ever come together like that.
The journey has a strange way of preparing you for the destination.
Remember, that it's you taking each step. The road has always been there. But it's you who takes each step. You control where you eventually end up. No one else. It's all you.
And when you really understand that, you kind of stop feeling lost. (I know I did...)
"My friend, Jill Konrath, is about to release her third smash-hit of a book in a few weeks talking about how to sell to crazy-busy buyers. She's a rock star that could have almost not happened. Imagine if she had let her lost feeling stop her from changing the world...."
When you feel lost, remember to take the next step. Walk towards your goal. Let your inner compass guide you.
You know the way. Just head that direction...